Day 15 of the Nowhere To Be Project had me at my usual Tuesday afternoon spot, the hospital. I volunteer one day a week as the pusher of cookies. Basically, I visit everyone in the hospital with my trolley, offering freshly baked cookies and lemonade. The goal is to provide a very small boost to those who need it most.
The most interesting aspect of this job is the way people react to me. Initially, most are standoffish (some being downright annoyed) as I enter their rooms. This all shifts when I explain that I am a volunteer wielding free cookies and lemonade. Their faces instantly change, relaxing into hungry grins as they reach out for my wares. It never ceases to amaze me just how much simple pleasure these confections provide.
We could all learn a lot from these cookies, couldn’t we? They’re sweet. They are given unconditionally. They’re comforting. They’re even medicinal in a way because they create a sense of normalcy that is harshly lacking in an inpatient setting. How different would my days be if I could offer cookies to everyone I encountered? I can imagine myself hurling cookies along the highway or tossing them to my fellow patrons on the bus. On second thought, maybe I’ll just start with a smile for all those who cross my path.
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